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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 18, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT

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air bags were deployed, there might still have been an injury as a result of that, you acknowledge that? >> if the ignition switch was part of the issue, we want them in the program and there are other sdipincidents. >> so i have to question why you have one of the two folks in the incident referred to in trooper young's accident report, one of those two people is on the list of 13, but the other is not and that raises the question. she was in the back seat. so the air bag doesn't affect her, but clearly that accident made very we may very well have been the result that you had a young driver who suddenly finds themselves in a an emergency situation on the highway going 48 miles per hour and they don't have an engine that works anymore. and you would agree that if the engine is not working, power is off, you don't have power steering any are more, do you. >> we were clear about the 13. but again, we want to get everybody who was affected and
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that's what we're focused on. and so again -- >> you want to make sure everybody is fully and fairly compensateded. >> that's correct. >> so why are your lawyers still trying to seek protection in the bankruptcy court? >> we are not going to revisit those decisions. i think what we're doing is going above and beyond with this compensation program to get to the people. mistakas a unique series of .. ask your bankruptcy lawyers to defend them and get the shield from the bankruptcy court in the course and not have to deal with these cases that come up and to only let the -- the only solution being mr. feinberg? >> mr. feinberg's program is a voluntary program. otherwise people have the same rights they have today. >> they have the same rights, but you're trying to block those rights in the bankruptcy court yes or no? >> our intent is to do a
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compensation program and the right thing for these individuals. >> but you'restructing your lawyers to back off the bankruptcy case. so if mr. feinberg's parameters don't mitt but a competent court finds they might, not going to matter to you. i'll move on to another question. i'm concerned a little bit about the fact that your legal department didn't pick this up. were any of the lawyers fired for not being dill gept? >> there were four different functions in which individuals were fired. legal being one of them, engineering, quality and public policy. >> because it did concern me that the trooper young's report was sitting in the gm files in the legal department for a period of about six years and only one person opened the fire during that time period and that was the legal assistant. let me ask you this. can the lawyers -- i think they
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ought to be, but can the lawyers start a safety investigation? >> anyone in the company can raise a safety issue. we want them to. and they're more than able to do that. >> and in this case the lawyers didn't do that and is that why one of them may have been fired? >> clearly there were people that didn't share information to put all all the pieces together. and those individuals are no longer with the company. and we're strongly encouraging everybody in the company to raise issues. i will tell you -- >> i'm about to run out of time, so i appreciate that. in closing, if gm truly wants to compensate everybody who has been harmed fully and fairly, they ought to ask their lawyers to stop asking the bankruptcy court for bankruptcy court protection and let these matters work their way out. thank you.
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yield back. >> the lucas report identifies mr. ray de sgchlt orgio who he say has no credibility to approve the deadly ignition switch this 2002 and to modify it in 2006. your report states that one of the key failures was, quote, the decision by a single engineer who did not advisories of his decision to accept an ignition switch with full knowledge that it fell well below gm's own specifications. is that correct? >> right. >> the implication here is that mr. degorgio acted alone, but the report describes problems soer associated with the ignition switch many of which were known as early as 2001 according to the report, the, quote, entire electrical concept needed to be
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redesigned end quote. the switch had significant problems that were known to gm. and i want to congratulate of staff of our committee for the amazing work that they did independently to investigate all these issues. in his interview with the committee, mr. degorgio told committee staff that he met with his superiors around february 2002 to inform them that the ignition switch would be delayed. attendees at the meeting included the vehicle's chief engineer, the program engineering manager, and electrical directors. it was clear the switch was getting a lot of attention. so ms. barra, is it your belief that one engineer, mr. degorgio, unilaterally approved a part plagued by problems from the start? >> the basic issue is that the switch that he approved to go
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into production did not meet the performance requirements. that was the first mistake. >> and it was his alone is this. >> he was the one responsible for it. >> knowledge of the problem is important. t report notes there is no evidence that degeorge i don't told others at gm including engineers on the caldwell program about the spring change to the ignition switch. it notes other employees had received documents describing the ignition switch change as early as june 2006 and that these documents clearly indicated that the switches used in pre-2007 models were not within specifications. is that correct? >> the answer to that question
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is there were e-mails which were forwarded to other individuals which contained within those e-mails after the change was made information about the fact that the torque had changed. we interviewed those individuals. those individuals were by and large in the warranty area. they had no -- they were looking at something that it meant nothing to them as the two we were able to locate and find. it was not -- they were totally unaware of the issues concerning the switch not deploying any aspect. so the one individual who did know all of the facts and had that information was mr. degorgio. the other engineers, it meant nothing to them. >> but there is an e-mail i'm holding here that discusses implementation of the new -- >> page 102? >> i believe that's right. >> the quote is increased torque forces to be within
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specifications. and it was sent to five gm employees on june 2, 2006. but we have also obtained another document that was not included in your report, and this document indicates that another sgchlt m contract engineer may have approved the 2006 change. it's a production part approval process report obtained by delphi through gm's global quality tracking system. it is dated june 1, 2006 and it lists gm supplier quality engineer -- a sgchltgm supplier quality engineer. and the notes read, new pcb and sprung plunger implementation for performance improvement. part approved per supplier submitted warrant and gm.
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so have you seen that report, the global quality tracking system. >> yes. >> so did you interview the listed supply quality engineer or look into what role he might have played in approving the switch change in 2006? >> we did the following. we looked at that change and what happened was the following. supply quality engineer's function is to determine whether the boxes are filled out and materials are properly identified here. and then he submits that and puts that into the system. he does not have as we understand it anything to do with making decisions on the change. he's actually functioning as somebody putting something into the system. i don't think we interviewed that particular individual. we know what his function and role was. >> i don't want to minimize mr. degorgio's roam
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degorgio's role, but i do think the documents problem the problem is deeper than one rogue engineer. and i yield back. >> now recognize mr. johnson from ohio for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. m your report ask yous an early may 2005 e-mail about a concern concern about the ignition switch. that's at tab 12. your report focused on mr. degorgio's awareness of this exchange. there were others on this change including doug parks. what was doug parks' position at the time? >> i honestly don't recall his title. >> wasn't he the vehicle chief engineer? >> he may well have been. i don't recall. >> let's assume that he was because that's what we think he was. why was it more significant that mr. degorgio was aware of this exchange rather than the vehicle
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chief engineer? >> i don't know that it was more significant. it was significant because mr. degorgio ultimately made the decision to change the part. and in our interviews with him, he said he was not aware of the fact that this was an issue, that he was not a wafware of th publicity and eve-mail traffic while we had information that that was not the case. >> what is the chief engineer's responsibility? >> within the company? i do not have an answer for that. i'll find out and be happy to smi submit that. >> the chief engineer is responsible for the overall integration of the vehicle and making the wall and tradeoff decisions for that vehicle. and if issues are raised to him, then he or she will deal with that. >> what knowledge should someone in the chief engineer position have about the vehicle compared to someone such as mr. degorgio? would it be reasonable that the
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vehicle chief engineer would have known about this situation? >> again, there are 30,000 parts on a car. the chief engineer has to count on the people doing their job. in the mid 2000s, there was validation engineers that were added to make sure the process was done well. and now with the product integrity organization, we'll be validating the sub systems. but the chief engineer -- >> takes information from those that -- >> right. the system works -- >> i got to move on. in a may 4th response, mr. parks requests a plug to insert in the key head since it appears to be the only in his quote only real quick solution. but this solution was not implemented for months. do you know why? >> part of the defunct of what was happening in the organization. they were treating this as a customer convenience issue rather than a safety issue. so they look at issues in terms of price, expense, cost.
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>> rather than safety. okay. a few weeks later on may 17, a new prts was initiated and the program team decided to pursue additional solutions beyond the service fix for the key insert. a short term production fix for a new key that changed the slot to a hole and a long term solution to introduce a more robust ignition switch. who was responsible for initiate and implementing these changes? >> these would have been the committees involved -- and i don't have the name in front of me. but the committees that were involved in the review and ultimately they didn't make -- they didn't do what they said they were going to do. >> were they reviewed by the vehicle chief engineer? >> i don't know that. >> do you know -- >> as i read the report, i think what you're referring to was continuous improvement team and i believe that the chief was not there, it was the program engineering manager. >> why does it take until 2009 to implement the new key head
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and who was responsible for ensuring that this change was implemented? do either of you know? >> i can tell you the reason it was delayed was because it was treated again as a customer convenience issue. they had an issue with regard to their supplier and a dispute with regard to his ability to deliver. and it wasn't until 2009 that the dispute was resolved and they ultimately made that change with regard to the key. >> ms. barra, in my previous life, i worked in a publicly traded company as a part of the executive team. we have a risk and compliance department, we have a risk in compliance director. my understanding, part of the concern that you're continuing to address is that this information never bubbled up to some of the key decision makers.
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the s.e.c. requires there are laws that require reports of risk and compliance related issues. were any of the s.e.c. reports or risks -- were the risks in compliance folks notified that millions were being paid out for claims as a result of some of these problems? how does it break down that bad in a company that is, you know, publicly traded? >> i can't speak to specifically what was in an s.e.c. report, but what i can tell you, it's unacceptable the way things broke down and that's why we've made dramatic process changes. but as congresswoman degette indicated -- we want to make sure we have the safest and
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highest quality vehicles on the road. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> welcome to our panel. as we examine what went wrong in this terrible tragedy, the most important job i believe for congress is to strengthen and improve auto safety laws to ensure that something like this never happens again. we owe that certainly owe to the families of the victims of this tragedy, many of whom are in our audience today for the hearing. that being said, one area that i believe we need to address is to improve early warning report data. can you describe briefly early warning report data? >> what is the data itself is this. >> yes. >> information that comes to the attention of the company which indicates that there are potential safety problems of which they are required to make alerts.
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>> and i believe the 2000 tread act requires the information being reported to nhtsa? >> that's correct. >> so you describe a number of cases where gm investigators analyze this tread data to attempt to identify are or explain air bag nondeployment in cobalts and ions. is that not correct? >> i ccannot give you a number f where that was done. >> and federal governmefederal able to identify the defect? >> the issue of the nondeploy the of the air bag was a matter of discussion in 2007 about between nhtsa and general motors. nhtsa noted there were nondeployments. gm's response was to begin an investigation to see -- to keep a chart of what was taking place.
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there were no major further discussions about that issue until 2013. >> it seems that part of the problem here is that early warning report data provided to nhtsa are reported in 23 broad categories. in the case of this defect, early warning data provided to nhtsa spanned several categories including engine, air bags and category of other. nhtsa says request more detailed information from manufacturer but it is difficult to know what to request given the minimum level of detail provided in the first place. nhtsa needs more detailed early warning day take so that they can spot trends and request the most useful followup information from the auto manufacturers. and more early warning data should be available to the public. we can all appreciate the value of outside experts in spotting issues that otherwise go undetected. finally, nhtsa needs appropriate enforcement mechanisms to ensure
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auto manufacturers comply with the laws. especially when safety is at stake. on may 16, gm agreed to pay the maximum fine for failure to report a safety related defect to nhtsa and that i believe is $35 million. ms. barra, what was gm's net income in 2013? >> just under $4 billion. >> just under $4 billion. so the penalty for failing to report the ignition switch defect is less than 1% of gm's earnings for last year. >> that is a correct math, but i think our intent is that we deal with safety issues -- by the time you get to talking about a fine, the customer's already been impacted in an incredibly negative way. we want to make sure we're putting high quality safe vehicles on the road and we want to work in cooperation with nhtsa to do that. >> none the less, it is not much
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of a determent, mr. chair. we need to increase this maximum penalty. 35 million is not an adequate deterrent to a large profitable company like g permit. if the penalty had been higher, gm might not have waited over a decade to report this safety defect to nhtsa. and it's clear to me nhtsa needs higher penalty authorities. we need to make certain the penalty for not reporting a safety defect is a sufficient threat to deter auto companies from needlessly delaying safety decisions. fixes in these areas like the tsb's public improving early warning report data and increasing penalties should be easy for us to agree upon. and with the seconds i have remar remaining, the gm website indicates customers should only utilize the key, key ring and key fob if equipped that came
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with the vehicle. ms. barra, many consumers have key chains with multiple keys. why if the new replacement switch is adequate does gm still recommend that consumers not use their full key rings the way they would normally use them? >> again, the system meets and has been validated and also by nhtsa. but as i have gone through this process over the last three months, i have seen incredible things on key chains that across the industry, i think this is actually an industry issue that we have to look at. i notice key chains everywhere i go now and i just think it's something that needs to be addressed more broadly across the industry. >> i yield back. >> now recognize will lomr. lon five minutes. >> thank you all for be here. do you feel like that you conducted a thorough investigation?
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>> yes. >> according to what you testified to today, if my math is right, how many people are on that team, how many people investigated along with you? >> the number of individuals who were employed at one point or another in reviewing documents, doing interviews, several hundred. >> according to my math, you all looked at 1220 documents a minute. >> sorry, say that again. >> i said according to my math, you looked at 1220 documents a minute. if you said you had access to 41 million documents. i don't know how in the world you you could do a thorough investigation in that time frame. >> we used computers and programs to analyze the documents for purposes of kicking out those documents which are reflective of the issues that are here. we used as part of that database requests being made by congress, requests being made by us for
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the united states attorney's office, by nhtsa, and we isolated those documents and then gave them through three levels of review for purposes of determining whether they were relevant to any aspect here, i feel very comfortable -- >> back to my first question. you think it was a thorough investigation. i'm not in your business, you are. so i'm just trying to learn here. >> i'm sorry. >> so the report that you released, were you sxwichbyou g deadline? >> the woboard of directors whe they employed me to do this investigation asked me whether i could get it done within a certain time frame and i told them we could. that was the deadline. it was my commitment that we could do it in that time period. part of that was associated with the fact that they wanted to now because there were deaths involved here what were the problems. part of it was because of the that we wanted to get the report out or being able to respond to congress. so we had that deadline.
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>> and once you got your report completed, or once you completed the report, to whom at general motors did you present the results? >> board of directors. >> and what was their reaction? >> i can't tell you what their reaction was. i know the reaction was what you've seen with ms. barra, which is to follow up on it. >> so you didn't receive any resistance to your findings or recommendations? >> none. none. >> were you asked fto make any changes to your report? >> no, i was not. and what i did tell them and what i mentioned here, if we found something different as we continue to gather documents because there are requests here and elsewhere, we would review the report and if there was anything in the report that we found to be in error or needed to be corrected or changed, we would report that back to the board and i presume they would report it back to you. >> so other than that, does that end your -- and i apologize.
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i've been here about 90% of the hearing, but i did have to step out for a few minutes. >> we believe we have completed the inquiry, but as i say, we would update it if we found something which changed in any significant way. i believe back last week we found something in the report that we corrected and we notified your staff of that immediately. >> okay. thank youyou. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to ms. barra and mr. valukus for being here today for this very, very serious subcommittee hearing. i, too, as some of my colleagues said extend my condolences to the families. it must be very difficult for you to be here and listening to this dissection of information as important as it is. these are your loved ones. mr. valukus, i do want to --
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this is more of a process question that i have for you, sir. going back again over the investigation and what you've report reported, back march 2007, it says staff from nhtsa approached gm personnel in between meetings in washington and mentioned a concern about nondeployment of the cobalts and ions. what is your understanding of the information shared by nhtsa? >> my understanding comes from the interview. i did not talk to anybody from nhtsa. we interviewed the people at sgchltgm and looked at the documents and material which is they produced as a result of that meeting and it was in the course of that meeting, nhtsa asked general motors about them and the response was the assignment of i believe it was mr. sprague at that point to look into it and
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document what was taking place, keep a chart essentially as to are these happening, how many are there. >> and the gentleman that you're referring to, what division was he in? >> he was an investigator i believe with fta investigator, which means he would have been detailed in to the legal department. >> so according to our information, when the engineers returned to michigan after being here in d.c., the product investigations team, the group that terms the root cause of the problem, reviewed the claims relating to the cobalt nondeployment, but ultimately decided not to pursue it. why does the product investigations not pursue this matter at the time? >> that's a very good question. and the answer is this was some of those things passed off to
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another agency. mr. operation was keeping track of it. the other investigators weren't following up with regard to it. they were gathering information, if you will. but that's where they went with it. >> so when you say that it was kind of handed over somewhere else, you're referring to the product -- field performance assessment division? >> yes. >> because according to again our information, it says afz te proceed duct investigators declined to investigate, the responsibility for being tag e tracking the claims was assigned to the field performance assessment division. do you consider this unusual, would this be typical in a situation where there has been an obvious issue that has come to light and it just couldn't of be passed off to another -- and i guess i would like to know, t
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too, it was given to another division, but what exactly is the field performance assessment division responsible for? was this just a way to put aside the problem because they weren't focusing on it? >> i don't know if it's typical. i did know o know it happened i case and one thing we called out in the report of passing off responsibility from one committee to another committee. fpa would be focused on potential claims in the legal department and whether or not they have litigation or things like that which indicate existence of these problems. but they are not the products investigators. they're a different group. but then here's what you have, you had it passed off to mr. sprague who then conducted -- gathered information about it for years and nothing else was taken place other than gathering that information until 2009. so everything was in hiatus. >> do you know who it was that actually made or authorized that change, who gave the assignment to mr. sprague? >> no, i don't. i don't know if we have a name. i can get a name for you.
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>> if you could, that would be sporpts important. >> it was as if the legal department said we'll take care of this. but i'll get and yyou a name. >> did the fpa ever attempt to evaluate the matter according to your investigation, did anybody address these issues? >> yes, in 2009, when they had the second continental report, then it became elevated, if you will. they realized it was something that could be associated with the switch as being the cause of the nondeployment and at that point, other things started to take place including mr. sprague going to visit mr. degorgio and asking whether there had been a change in the switch and him saying no. >> so i guess my last and final question here, was there a
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reluctance there, but i believe you just indicated that there was, a reluctance to actually acknowledge and address the issue. >> i'm sorry -- >> i'm sorry, that would probably be hypothesizing. thank you for your time. >> it's the committee's practice that if another member of the full committee can is questions after other members have asked theirs. so we now recognize mr. terry, care m chairman of the subcommittee on manufacturing. >> thank you. i, too, want to recognize the parents and family members in the back. those photographs really keep reminding us why we're here and investigating today. i want mr. valukas, i want to ask you, i want to go back to i'm still stuck on how this sub spec parts were even allowed at the very beginning of the process.
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so in that regard, the production part approval process that they go through and they do the testing, would that 2002 bpap package be a keep document in this investigation? >> certainly would be something i'd want to see. i think we sought it out. we've asked delphi for it and we don't have it. >> and delphi wouldn't produce it? >> they informed us they don't have it. >> they don't have. do you believe that? >> i can only report what they told us. we made requests from them from the very beginning for access to any and all documents relating to this matter. what they produced to us were a limited number of documents which were documents that had actually been cha exchanged wit. i think we may have received a few additional, but that's what we got. >> so no one's been able to locate the bpap on the ignition
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parts? >> that's my understanding. >> ms. barra, do you know whether or not the bpap for this ignition parts from 2002 exist? >> i don't. i believe mr. valukas and his team would have found it if it does exist. what i can tell you is the part should never have been put in production. >> agreed. i'm proud you said that. but it would have been great to discover that in 2002 during the bpap process. and the fact that it wasn't is disturbing in itself and that's why i think those documents are extremely important as you do, mr. valukas. should this committee consider a subpoena of those records since they were not produced? you're putting me where i cannot go. let's me say this. it is clear from our fact
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finding that mr. degorgio approved this part. and he approved this part knowing it was well below specifications and we did not find anybody else who was involved in it. though delphi certainly knew that the part that was being approved was below specs. >> and in that respect, you have this binder by you. and if you would turn to tab four. and it is a memo from raymond degorgio regarding the talc issue. this is an e-mail from around april of 2002, around the time of the original switch us a actually being approved, is that correct? >> yes.
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>> the subject is the talc issue for the ion. >> correct. >> and that talc, what role does the talc testing have on the approval of the switch, do you know? >> it's part of the process. it's been explained how does it feel when you make the turn. they want to make it feel like it was a european sports car, something like that. >> does this e-mail from raymond de sgchlt i och-- to raymond degiorgio, does that raise any concerns to you as the investigator 34r5urly the sentence in sentence that he did not find spring back from crank run to accessory as terry meehan and others had observed?
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>> were you aware of the discussions about the feel of the ignition switch? >> yes. >> in the last 30 seconds, you mentioned that there was an adversarial feeling regarding -- between nhtsa and gm. who have you concluded whether -- who is responsible for the adversarial relationship? >> no, i have not. but i just noted from the documents, and this is not from testimony, more from the documents just the tone of the documents, and that's maybe an incorrect way to assume something. but that from the tone of the documents, it suggested that there was some nature of adversarial activity here. >> one quick last question. there were many times looking through the documents that under the tread act, gm should have provided notice to nhtsa.
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is this adversarial relationship between the two impact their decision not to provide that notice? >> no. let me -- when i say no, let me sm explain what i did and someone else can make that judgment. we went back through all of disclosures, the tread act disclosures to look to see whether something was or was not disclosed. and at least as best we could tell, marking those disclosures what the information which was then in possession by virtue of the interviews or documents we had, it appeared to us that the tread disclosures were compliant. but i will not be the ultimate judge of that. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank you for the additional time. >> mr. valukas, i wanted to follow up on a couple questions mr. johnson was asking you.
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your report says on page 2, quote, gm engineers concluded that moving stalls were are not safety issues because drivers could still man ufrt the cars. as a result, sgchlt m person they will viewed the switch problem as a customer convenience issue, something annoying but not particularly problematic. is that right? >> correct. >> and you told mr. johnson so therefore because they called it a customer convenience issue, they looked at issues of pricing and issues like that, not issues of safety, is that right? >> that's correct. >> and this was despite the fact that really pretty early on, gm started getting a lot of complaints about the ignition shifting into neutral and the car losing all power. >> that's correct. >> in fact there was in a review of the cobalt in the "new york times, "-- no, in a review in the "new york times," the
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freelance writer said that his test cobalt driven by his wife stalled after her knee bumped the steering column, right? >> there were reports in the "new york times" and other newspapers -- >> cleveland plain dealer and others. so this kind of boggles my mind. a car could be going down the highway at a high rate of speed, 65 miles an hour, and it gets bumped, it goes in to neutral. and then everything stops. the power steering, the brakes, the air bags. that's what happened to brooke melton where she's driving down the highway on her 29th birthday, i go anything stops, the car loses power, she goes into the other lane and she's killed. do you know about that case? >> i certainly do. >> and so yet the gm engineer said that this was a convenience issue. right? >> they not only said it internally, they said it publicly when they were interviewed by the press. they said this is our position that a stall does not constitute
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a safety issue and that -- >> that is just insane, isn't it? >> i won't use the word insane, but i'm troubled by that. >> okay. good. now, at the same time, gm was talking to nhtsa about whether stalling was a safety risk. are you aware of that? >> i'm aware there were those conversations for all this period of time. >> ms. barra, were you aware that at the same time nhtsa was talking to gm in june 2004 that general motors recalled 15,000 b because of stalling risks? >> i was not involved in that area. >> so you're not aware of that. >> gay kent sie sign that had notice. did gay kent every express any concern to you about the falling and safety risks? >> no.
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>> okay. so basically what you're saying in your report, mr. valukas, is you have these cars that stall out at any speed really and all of the power goes out. but yet the gm personnel maintained this was a customer convenience issue. >> that is where they were absolutely from 2005 through 2009 at least. >> now, have you ever talked to a fellow named clarence ditlo with the center for auto safety? >> i've received correspondence from him. >> did you receive this letter dated june 17, 2014 from him? >> is it in the material? >> i don't know. but we can -- yes, we'll hand you a copy. and mr. ditlo 's conclusion is that the extvalukas report is flawed that engineers did not
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know stalling was safety related. are you aware of this claim that mr. ditlo made? >> i'm aware of the claim. actually i know i read this letter and i september him back a nice note saying thank you for the information. >> and what is your view of that? >> my view is that he didn't read the report and understand what my responsibility was here. that's my view. let me give my view. what we were charged to do, and i think this is very important to understand, we were charged by the board of directors to find the facts concerning how and why this occurred. we were charged with laying those facts before the board and we were charged with making recommendations. and the board was charged with the responsibility i presume of making decisions whether or not the employees within the organization to the top level lived up to their responsibilities. that was where the board's responsibility was. so the suggestions in here that we didn't cover up people or we didn't -- that we exonerated
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certain people is simply not correct. >> i really appreciate that answer because you clearly de n dewld delineated what you believe you were hired to do. >> that's correct. >> so there may be other information that this committee needs to gather beyond your report, right? >> that is absolutely possible and as i said before, if we found new information as we went along, which reflected on that we would share it with the board. >> mr. chairman, i would ask unanimous concept to place this june 17 letner to the record and also a report entitled driven to safety from june 2014 talking about some of the lawsuits that we have involved in this. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you very much. and thank you again for coming both of you today. >> dr. burgess wanted to make a follow-up question about the phone number. >> since i brought it up a request to put to the record 1-800-222-1020 as the customer service number that should be
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available to customers of general motors. and also just the observation we aren't talking about the nondeployment of an air bag. the primary restraint system is the seat belt. and i do encourage people, you got to wear your seatbelts when you drive. i'll yield back. >> i'll recognize myself. mr. valukas, when you said when you get additional data, and it was very clear in your mandate from ms. barra that she wanted this to be thorough, that if you receive that other information from plaintiffs' attorney, i hope you'll say that with us thp you said they had not responded to you as of yet, but if there is information that they have with regard to delays from general motors attorneys in getting them information, i hope you will review that and let us know. >> and to be clear, i will gather that information. whatever we get we'll have to share with the board of
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directors and they will make the decision as to disclosure. >> thank you. ms. barra, now with the benefit of time, cobalt and several other automobiles had a defective switch. that switch, hitting a pothole, bumping the key ring with your knee, or heavy key fob, could have moved that on switch into an accessory position, cause a stalling of the vehicle, subsequent loss of power steering and power are brakes when the engine was not on, and also air bags would not deploy. all those things are clear, right? on page 8 of mr. valukas' report, there is reference to a technical service bulletin from 2005. and it says in here that the technical service bulletin counseled customers to remove heavy items from their key
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rings. that bulletin did not refer to the problem as, quote, stalling, unquote, however precisely because general motors believed customers might associate stalling with a safety problem, and only a customer who had already sxiexperienced a stall would get information about the proposed solutions. other customers would remain unaware of the problem as well as gm's proposed solutions. i'm assuming that if you knew then what you knew now, you would not have allowed that sort of bulletin to be written in that way? >> that's correct. >> thank you. i want to refer to something that is taking place today which is important you know. that is, i took a look at the gm current website with regard to safety recall. your comments, et cetera. and i go to the section marked frequently asked questions. under the item number seven, are the recalled vehicles safe to
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drive. you say, simple answer to that question is yes. the gm engineers have done extensive analysis to make sure if you use only the ignition key with no additional items in the key ring, that the vehicle is safe to drive. >> that is true. we validated that. it's also been valley at a timed by nhtsa. >> the old cobalts that could also go into a stall -- >> we're talking about as long as you have just the key or the ring, you don't have an ability to trap it with your knee, that that condition is not going to occur. that's what that statement is referring to. >> they still could not hit it with their knee. okay. >> the issue is when you look at just the key, you don't create a moment to be able to do that. >> but still what it does not say at all in this statement, customer, if you don't do this, your car may stall, you may lose power steering, you may lose
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your brakes, you won't have your air bag, this is apstream safety concern. it simply says this isn't a big safety deal. and then you even say once service repair is completed, can customers put a heavy key ring back on. you say we recommend only utilize the key, key ring and key fob that came with the vehicle. so you say if you repair this, with the previous item i just quoted, if you repair this, you'll be fine and later on you say but don't change the key issue. so i don't understand how that is fixed. >> well, first of all, on the faq, there are a number of questions and there was also opening statements. i know i personally recorded videos that we have on our website to truly communicate what we need to do. it's been included in our letters. so you have to look at the complete communication, not one question. >> my point is this. i'm making a recommendation to
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you. you've come before our committee and i believe you've tried to be honest and straightforward. my recommendation to you, there are how many cobalts still out there, how many ions, how many other cars still affected? >> something less than 2.6 million. >> and so far i forget how many have been repaired. >> almost 2200 thurks. >> that's a lot of cars out there that could still stall, you lose power steering, lose power brakes. you could lose control of the car. you could crash. air bags won't deploy. someone will be injured or could die. i hope that becomes a lot more glaring than simply saying, you know, it's safe to drive. i don't think it's safe to drive. >> congressman murphy, we have sent letters, we have gone on social media, i've done videos, our dealers have been informed, believe me, we take it very seriously and we want people to know that until their vehicle is repaired, that we want them to only use the key and the ring.
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we have done extensive communications because i don't want any other incidents to occur. >> ma'am, i hear what you've done. i'm talking about what i would recommend you still do. look, the unfortunate thing about this is that with all the things that you do like in our lives, all the things we do to try to communicate with people, many times people don't read mail, they don't watch commercials on tv, they don't look at things like this. so you have to try all levels. up maybe gets on the comedy network or something that people pay attention. i would highly recommend that what you do is make it very clear that if you don't do this, this is a consequence. i would hope that that would be something gm would make abundantly clear. because i may not know a lot, but i know what motivates people. and if you give them the bold blasting facts, if you don't do this, you could be in a serious accident, that might wake up people to understand that in order for gm to work on safety, customers have to pay attention
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to this, too, and i hope that that is something people will p attention to. as i said before, i thought this report could be subtitled "don't assume malfeasance when incompetence will do." i see this as something i hope gm does. >> we'll redouble our efforts there. >> i ask unanimous consent that the members' opening statements be entered into the record. i ask unanimous consent that the document binder from the hearing be entered into the record subject to appropriate redactions by staff. in conclusion, i want to thank the witnesses today and the members that participated in today's hearing. i remind hearings they have ten business days to submit question
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> over on our facebook page we have been asking you, do you trust gm. here is what some of what you said. i trust more now than leaded two years ago. their on the right track with the new ceo and the uncovering of the testified the tragic mistakes. and i trust gm as much as any car company. this one just got caught. to many people around now for
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got war are too young to know the words ford pinto, way worse. >> and i have three chevy estimates 2004 monte carlo, 2007 equinoxes command 2013 impala. i love gm vehicles. i've owned $0.7 i started driving 22 years ago. i buy another one tomorrow if we were in the market for a new car . >> transparency and freedom of affirmation. i think my colleagues and generals will give a similar raid. the freedom of affirmation process has become a joke. it was already well on its way prior to the obama administration, but this a ministration has perfected the stall, delight, redaction, excuses. and it is shocking because i feel strongly reaffirmation they withhold belongs to the public.
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there is no sense of that when we ask for is. the coveted as if they're is a private corporation defending trade secrets rather than understanding that what they hold is the permission they have gathered on our behalf. >> the changing face of network news and her career sunday night at 8:00 on c-span q&a. >> coming up on c-span2 former epa administrator is on climate change. later, the "wall street journal" chief financial officer network conference, and security professionals on emerging cyber threats followed by a discussion on u.s. economic recovery. we discuss the military and diplomatic options for responding to violence with republican congressman scott perry and with democrat eliot engel. also, new york times senior
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economic correspondent on this week's federal reserve meeting. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> last year former republican epa administrators wrote an op-ed in the new york times calling for immediate action on climate change. next, we will hear from those for. the senate environment and public works subcommittee on clean air. this is two hours and 20 minutes.
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>> we will have opening statements limited to five minutes each followed by introduction and swearing in of witnesses followed by testimony of witnesses. i know that a ranking member sessions will be joining us late. i would like to thank him and members of the subcommittee in our witnesses for being here today to assess faugh. -- the environmental protection agency. all of them solve contentious environmental problems during their ten years working for republican presidents. now we are banding together to bring attention to the biggest and are meant to travel climate change paper. in a new york times op-ed written last year that i would like to enter into the record without objection, these former
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administrator stated, we have a message that transcends political affiliation. the united states must move now on the substantive steps to curb climate change they are for in a large choir of voices. the climate declaration as signed by more than 750 companies, including name place american brands like ebay, levi, mars, nike, starbucks, the declaration states, in part, we can not risk our kids' futures on the false hope that the vast majority of scientists are wrong leading is what we have always done, and by working together regardless of politics, we will
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do it again. i will enter a copy of that into the record without objection. national defense leaders have sounded the alarm that climate change is a serious national security threat. there are also scientists, an outdoorsman, faith leaders, state and local officials, and countless others demanding action. i understand that many of my colleagues are from states that depend upon fossil fuel and have fossil fuel economy, and they want to protect jobs in those industries. i did that, and it is proper, but i also ask that they look at the other side of the ledger, the side that of tax states like ryland. our side includes costs slight damage to coastal homes, infrastructure, businesses with.
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it for this dying from people infestation and destroyed by unprecedented wildfire seasons, farms ravaged by worsened strata and flooding. our side of the ledger accounts, too. do not pretend that we don't exist. recently, the epa uses clean act authority established by congress and the firm by the supreme court to propose carbon pollution standards for the country's existing power plants. as proposed, the rule will reduce carbon pollution opera writing as much as $93 billion in public benefit per year by
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2030. as you can see from this chart, a recent poll found that 70 percent of the public supports federal standards to limit greenhouse gas pollution. i am not sure if it is clear, but the rate so far as republicans who overwhelmingly support power plant regulation. ..
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according to measurements sea level rises up 5 inches along the alabama coast between 1966 and 2006. that is the five branches of ocean in mobile bay during storms. in florida ground zero climate change. in october 2000 post streets and homes in hendrix isle of florida were flooded but not because of the storm. it all happened on a beautiful sunny day. it was just extreme high tides pushed into the town by sea level rise. climate change is a challenge. we have a solemn duty to solve. again i think the witnesses for joining us and the committee has much to learn from a collective experience of the former administrators as we address this american challenge and i went over by minnesota senators bidder will have annexed a minute. >> thank you mr. chairman enforcer mr. chairman enforcer that could make a nass consent requests we have at least eight
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empty chairs in the ram. there are plenty of folks outside many of whom have traveled a long distance to be here. we also have standing room so i would just like to make it unanimous consent request that a least 10 or 12 more folks be let in for this important discussion. >> i would be happy to allow folks to be let in that their empty chairs are that are reserved for anyone. >> let me clarify if folks on here think the reserve sign should -. >> one of your witnesses. he will have staff with him. >> we will keep it for him. >> i want to be polite to your witness. >> i think that's permission for 10 other folks to come in. thank you. i look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses here today certainly including dr. daniel bodkin dr. joseph mason and the honorable luther strange. the signs of economic
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consequences and legal underpinnings of the epa's actions to advance the president's climate action plan or topics the administration does not want to discuss in detail however their unilateral actions will increase america's electricity bills, decrease families disposable income and result in real job losses for little or no measurable impact on our ever-changing economy. on june 2 epa proposing a prisoner world targeting her country's electricity system read using a provision in the clean air act that has only been used five times in 40 years epa requires states to set performance standards that apply to the entire electricity system mandating renewable energy and rationing energy on which families and businesses rely. epa argues this rule is a gift to provide states with the flexibility. in reality though that is a complete red herring.
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states are first forced into achieving questionable reduction targets from a limited menu of economically damaging and legally questionable options. states are left little choice but to join or create regional cap-and-trade programs which achieves the administrations goal of making sure we all pay more for energy. electricity prices right now in the regional greenhouse gas emissions states and california are 45% higher than in my home state of louisiana. 56% of louisiana families already, already at that lower rate spent an average of 21% of their after-tax income on energy. they simply cannot afford the higher electricity bills that one equitably result from this rule. the rule of the bill is climate change mitigation with america leading the way. unfortunately anyone who has actually read the 645 page rule finds it has no material effect
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on global average temperature or sea level rise. the majority of the benefits touted by epa come from double accounting reductions of other missions regulated through other measures. while this administration expects other governments to consider the global consequences of their greenhouse gas emissions when regulated there is absolutely no reason to presume the world's biggest emitters willful ball was down this path of economic destruction. in fact much of the world is changing course. their friends in europe have adopted similar carbon constraining framework several years ago filled with government mandates and cronyism and were reported with harsh economic pain. in an effort to recover germany is lifting its ban on fracking and increasing use of coal. >> is abandoning the handouts that supported its renewable energy. instead of embracing our
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domestic energy resources and the bright economic light they provide and are otherwise poor economy this climate action plan moves us beyond coal and beyond natural gas with serious negative consequences. today the american electricity system provides affordable reliable seven days a week 365 days a year families schools hospitals and businesses. the existing source rule as proposed will increase costs to all consumers significantly and as always that especially hits the poor, the elderly, those on fixed incomes for no measurable effect on climate change. in reality this rule is essentially a federal takeover of the american electricity system. is everyone here really comfortable with the epa being fully completely responsible for all of those details of our
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electricity system? the only thing missing from the strategy is a promise from the president, if you like your affordable energy you can keep your affordable energy. we like it and they want to keep it. this rule will destroy it. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator vitter and i will turn out to the wonderful chairman of the environment and public works committee. i'm very honored to have you here today a great leader in this effort barbara boxer. thank you senator and thanks to you we are joined by an extraordinary panel and i think all of you for being here. we are looking at administrators of the epa and who were appointed by republican presidents the honorable william ruckelshaus served under president nixon and then again under president reagan. the honorable lee thomas served under president reagan. the honorable william reilly served under president george w.
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bush, h.w. bush and the honorable christine todd whitman served under george w. bush so i am proud that her landmark environment allows were created with an overwhelming bipartisan consensus and it saddens me more than i can ever express in words that protecting the environment at this federal level has become an out and out war come a partisan issue. it shouldn't be that way. it wasn't when i started. in 1970 the clean air act passes senate by a vote of 73-0 pass by the house 375-1 signed by president nixon. in 1990 revisions to the clean air act passed the senate by a vote of 89-11 and by 401-20 house and signed into law by president george w. bush but in the last congress the republicans sent us over 90 antique clean-air writers and they are planning to do it now
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in backrooms. they are working on plans to overturn president obama's action plan to cut back on carbon pollution. we all should know that we need to take action to do smart -- reduce carbon pollution. 97% of scientists believe it is leading to dangerous climate change that threatens their families. to say we can't have an opinion as some of my republican colleagues have done because they are not scientists and you heard them say it. speaker boehner said it. he said i'm not a scientist. i can't say whether there is climate change. all the more reason to listen to a scientist if you are not a scientist. i know we all have health problems in our families in right here in the senate. when doctors tell us we need a heart bypass or cancer treatment we have listen. we don't just say while just say while i'm on a doctor and i'm not going to listen. the four former epa administrators with us today will testify about the need to
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control carbon pollution to avoid the most calamitous impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels dangers heatwaves, economic disruption. the american people certainly understand this threat. you saw the pool. it's extraordinary. democrats, republicans, independents matter support the president's plan. as someone with a 95% labor record i want to talk a minute about jobs and i want to welcome people here who work with their hands because i respect the work that you do. but i want to say two things now. one i want to put in the record the number of jobs under george w. bush and the coal industry and the number of jobs under president obama in the coal industry. more jobs under president obama so there's a lot of talk around here but a lot of times we don't get the facts so i want to put this in the record with your permission. i also want to say that i lived through all this fear-mongering
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about jobs. between 1970 and 2000 and we passed the clean air act amendment people were shouting, you are a job killer, you are a job killer. what have been? air pollution dropped 60% saving our families help while the u.s. gross domestic product grew 21 212%. today private sector jobs increased by 80% during that same period so listen these scare tactics, they been tried before and they are just not real. look in my state and you see the number of jobs that have been created as we move to clean energy. it's very encouraging. power plants account for 40% of all carbon pollution released into the air and right now there are no limits to the amount of pollution that can be released in carbon pollution from most power plants. the president's plan -- this is what it will do. it will avoid up to 6600
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premature deaths, 150,000 asthma attacks, 3300 heart attacks, 2800 hospital admissions in 490,000 no-space of schools. i ask you congress when you go home and use the tickets all the time asked them how many have asthma or know someone with asthma. half the kids will raise their hands. why would you attack a plan that will avoid so many heart attacks, asthma tax? 150,000 asthma attacks. it is in america's dna to turn a problem into an opportunity. let's do it because i will tell you like many other jobs you cannot outsource putting a solar roof on a home. you cannot outsource putting a wind turbine into place and i want to thank senator whitehouse for his extraordinary leadership. >> i am now pleased to recognize my friend from wyoming senator
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brosseau. >> thank you is a chairman and as you know i'm from wyoming the most beautiful state in the nation and i want to keep it that way. i believe we have and can have a healthy environment and a healthy economy at the same time. we need to do that by striking the right balance between the two. i believe it's irresponsible to impose costly regulations without having real environmental benefits. the cost of these climate change regulations on families communities are very real. the benefits are ill-defined, they are unknown and simply negligible. president obama's new climate regulations were at the heart of his climate action plan will harm our fragile american economy and thousands of people will lose their jobs. it will raise electricity prices threaten electricity reliability and undermined america's global competitiveness. higher energy costs will hurt low-income families with fixed
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income seniors the most leaving them with less to spend on food housing health care and other basic necessities. thousands of unemployed in their families will suffer many health impacts as a result of chronic unemployment electricity prices and hospital visits will necessarily skyrocket. is it worth subjecting men in our country true granite -- dramatically lower-quality of health with a plan to essentially nationalize our electricity grid quest based on the facts i would say absolutely not. we have been told by the u.n. and the epa that climate change will cause serious impacts across the globe. to address this the president put forward his climate action plan. his plan is to pull the first to have the u.s. nationalize our electricity crude justice he is try to nationalize our health care system. national i thing our electricity grid means taking decision-making about policy at the hands of states out of the
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hands hands of the committees and putting it in the hands of washington bureaucrats. this will occur as epa rejects in whole or in part state energy plans for reducing carbon emissions and imposing their own federal plans under the epa's proposed regulations for existing coal-fired power plants. this will happen at a cost of thousands of jobs and the public's health and well-being. the second part of the present plan is to have us believe that he can arrive in paris in 2015 at the u.n. climate change conference and convince the world to follow his lead. the whole plan hinges on president obama's foreign-policy prowess. his foreign-policy record is a series of empty threats, pivots, who resets, miscalculations and lead from behind failures in places like syria, russia, iran, libya and now iraq. after all those missteps a person expects americans to
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believe in 2015 he can draw a red line at the schaum shall essay and demand that china and india stop with fossil fuels. even if the person was able to reach an agreement like the kyoto treaty of the 1990s it was still have to be ratified by the senate. that treaty overwhelmingly failed. the president can deliver in paris and subsequently in a pet -- senate we will be left with his domestic climate action plan. america has been told by the epa and the u.n. that climate change will cause serious impacts of the planet years into the future. the president's domestic climate action plan that they champion cannot on its own prevents these impacts from happening. according to her own u.s. secretary of state john kerry in a column he wrote in the financial times june 30 stated even as we strive to do better
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we recognize that no country can solve this problem alone. even if the u.s. somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions secretary kerry says it would not be enough. the rest of the world is doing too much carbon pollution. that means the president's climate action plan on its own doesn't reduce global temperatures or prevent any of the serious impacts predicted by the u.n. or the epa. can't even make a dent. although while seniors on fixed income families and children suffer higher electricity bills, joblessness and poor health. this is all paid -- pain and little game with what the president is proposing. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator brosseau --
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barrasso. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. thank you for your tireless efforts on this issue in organizing this very important hearing today. let me begin by expressing and i say this to somebody who may have the highest prolabor fat fate -- voting record in the united states congress. i delight in hearing some of my friends express on the other side their interest about the needs of low-income people and working people and senior citizens but i would remind everybody many of these same people are folks who have fought to cut social security, medicare, medicaid, oppose raising the minimum wage opposed the jobs program we need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and put millions of people back to work, oppose lowering college debts for many struggling students in this country. the issue that we are dealing with today is of today is that the norm is important and what it really comes down to is whether as a nation the most powerful nation on earth we are
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going to listen to the science. when we build weapons systems that cost millions of dollars we take it for granted that the engineers know what they are talking about. when we invest in cancer research through the national institute of health we examine believe that the doctors and scientists know what they are talking about but right now we are in a very strange moment in american history and that is while traditionally there are differences of opinion on labor issues, on health care issues, that's what happens year after year we are now at a strange moment and then as we have virtually an entire political party status rejecting basic science and the science is no longer in doubt. some 97% of scientists who have written in peer-reviewed journals say the following.
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climate change is real. it is significantly caused by human activity. it is already causing devastating problems in our country throughout the world. in arizona they are worrying about how phoenix and other cities are going to get water because of the terrible drought they have seen in the southwest. australia is burning up. we have had extreme weather disturbances major storms that have cost us billions of dollars. sea levels are rising which may flood among other cities the great city of new orleans, new york city, boston but for some strange reason why we agree on science in almost every area of our life in this area we have a party that says no, climate change is not real. it is maybe a hoax. if something concocted by al gore or hollywood. i'm very proud that today and i want to thank very much the panels who are here especially
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the former epa ministry are appointed by republicans. i thank you so much for being here because while we can disagree on a lot of issues we should not disagree on what scientists tell us. we should not disagree when scientists tell us we have that window of opportunity, 10 or 15 years, to turn this thing around to lead the world. sure john kerry said the rest of the world has got to go forward. he is right that someone has to lead. this country leads him by the way when we lead and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel we create millions of jobs through weatherization, their energy efficiency, through wind solar geothermal and other technologies that are out there so i very much want to thank the former republican administrators for coming here to washington to say what i think is true that intelligent republicans all over this country and i'm not a
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republican in my views are very different but on this issue we can at least respect science. we can respect the planet, we can transform our energy system and most importantly at the end of the day we have a moral responsibility for our children and grandchildren so 30 years from now they can look us in the eye and they said the scientists were telling you it was going on why didn't you do something. we have got to do something and i thank you very much. >> thank you senator sanders. senator inhofe. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for holding this hearing. i think it's important for us to conduct oversight. we need to be hearing from epa and those affected by the role which includes utilities and consumers the manufactures the minors and others. we need the records were put the
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whole picture of this rule and we need to hear from experts on electricity reliability like ferc and nerc. during his time in office personnel bomb has pursued a systematic strategy for using the government to take over major sectors of the economy starting with obamacare and nationalize the health care system and onto dodd-frank and making bank bailouts a permanent fixture in american society. now we have the first round of the global warming regulations which would nationalize the electricity market and force americans to live out the presidents green dream. we don't have to look any further than obama is model germany to see where that path leads her to think senator vitter covered this well. the fact that they are trying to get out from under them as they are in and here we have germany who they are cost of power has doubled and is now triple what it is here in the united states off because of the course the
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president is trying to put us on. administration may claim that this is unlikely that the united states because we have an abundance of cheap domestic resource natural gas and while that is true i am not naïve enough to believe that the administration would stop with coal. the energy secretary recently said natural gas power plants will soon lead carbon sequestration technology to comply with global warming rules. that would put them out of business and i would like to suggest to the group that's here it's not just cool, its oil, gas, coal and even nuclear that's under attack. first up on the electricity take over welfare force americans to use less electricity at higher prices. the motive for this agenda is clear. tom stier and i'm going to assess the made a part of that record. tom stier is a california
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millionaire dennis promised the $100 million into the midterm elections to help senate democrats get elected if they make global warming and national issue. this is not me saying this. this is tom stier. i don't have $180 million to give away. he doesn't this means enough to him and i do us this be made a part of the record. >> reserving the right to object. reserving the right to object. >> that's are right. >> i would like to enter into the record the fact that koch brothers representing the fossil fuel industry will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on this campaign. >> by the way be the timer off for a minute. at the greatest respect for senator sanders. we are totally different on her philosophies and i understand that but we have respect for each other and we have honest debates and this is just one of
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them but i think it's very important to keep in mind there's a guy that's out there. >> the timer is back on and both will be answered into the record. >> very good, thank you. so anyway now we have had the global warming slumber parties on the senate floor that the reason guys like tom's tire have to go to such lengths to make a political issue is because the american people don't want anything to do with it. poll after poll shows more americans learn about the impact of greenhouse gas regulations that the less they care. a gallup poll that just came out used to list global warming is number one and number two and you remember ms.-- when you're in a job. the most important issue is the economy. we know previously the previous versions of cap-and-trade are
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estimated to cost between three and $400 billion figure which amounts to $3000 for every family that files a federal tax return and we have to keep in mind even if this were right even if they were able to do this and passes it would not reduce as one of the member said a minute ago, would not reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. lisa jackson the director of the pa appointed by barack obama made that statement. she said it would not reduce. the problem is in china, india mexico and other places so the $3000 per family would be something that would not achieve the benefits that the other side seem to think of it. this version is going to have a semi-intact. the chamber of commerce estimated one final construction of the rule would cost $51 billion in lost gdp each year. heritage foundation estimated it
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would decrease household income by $1200 a year. these are the facts that they are not talking about the points from the other side. let's keep in mind also they are trying to do this or regulation that obama is because he couldn't do it through legislation. we have had countless bills introduced to do the very same thing for legislation. each time they are defeated by a larger margin and so i think if for no other reason it's been rejected by the house and the senate. it's very significant and how should we through regulation try to do something that elected members of this body have rejected over and over again? thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator inhofe and we turn now to senator cardin. >> thank you senator whitehouse. i thank you for your extraordinary leadership on this issue. you have been incredibly helpful to this country in the leadership that you have taken particularly your comments before the united states senate.
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i first want to start by thanking our panelist today for what you have done to improve the public health or the people of this nation. you have put public health first and that is what congress intended when it passed the clean air act and the clean water act. it was done by bipartisan votes. the clean air act was enacted in 1970 with bipartisan support by members of congress, house and the senate and signed into law by president nixon. so you have given us the bipartisan and nonpartisan foundation for us to have clean water, clean air and now we need to move forward in that tradition and unfortunately we have not. and i hope that we can get back to the same type of spirit that inspired you to use your talent at the epa as we move forward to advancing the public health of the people of this country. seven years ago when i was first
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elected to the senate would have bipartisan members in the senate working together on climate change legislation. i hope we can get back to that day to get that bipartisan coalition together. quite frankly the solution is one in which we will answer every members concerns or eds, many of us, most of us are concerned about the environmental public health threat that climate change poses. i have the honor of representing the state of maryland and their greatest natural resources of the chesapeake bay and they are doing a lot. we have asked our farmers to do a lot and our municipal governments have done a lot. we have worked together in the public and private sector but a large part of a problem deals with climate change, rising sea levels the loss of seagrasses and therefore climate change effects quality of life for the people of maryland.
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the scientific information in our apartment is pretty clear and public health as we have pointed out. 97% of the scientific documents that have been published indicate that we have a serious threat that we need to do something about and take action. by way of example if i went to a doctor and 97% of the opinion was that i had pneumonia and unless i took certain action i was risking my health, i would take action as would every person in this country. so it is clear that the overwhelming evidence is that we need to take action in order to reserve the public health not just of america but globally and the future health of our climate. but the good news here we don't really have to get into the debate with the other 3% because the solution to the problem of climate change not only leaves a cleaner environment and a safer circumstance for global climate,
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it also helps our economy. i just point to the maryland experience mr. chairman. we passed some of the toughest environmental laws for power plants and we created jobs. we can say the number of jobs that were created. clean energy creates more jobs than the fossil fuel industry so for those who are saying well maybe this is untrue we certainly want to do it for economic growth in this country. it also helps us with national security. you talk about that and we have made progress and we are now more energy secure than we were a few years ago because we have invested in cleaner energy sources to help support america's security, economy and our environment. i can point also to the fact that from our security point of view many of our facilities, military for silagy's are located off the coast. maryland we are proud of the naval academy and the pax river
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indian head. all those affected by increased sea level increases so it's in our national security interest to do this. the bottom line is the united states needs to exercise leadership. personal palm is doing that on his climate action agenda and by regulating what power plants are doing. we have seen our president provide the leadership that has made a huge difference. it's now time for congress to step up and join the president so that america can be a leader in dealing with this global problem that affects the security of our country and affects the future of our country. >> thank you senator cardin. artist and was ranking member in our friend senator sessions has arrived that he has allowed us to keep the existing order so i will recognize senator boozman. >> thank you blood very much m mr. chairman. one topic that we are hearing a
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lot about today is the 97% consensus on climate change. it's important to ask where is 97% number come from and what does that mean? many scientists question the level of certainty behind the specific climate change scenarios. others have shown gaps in our knowledge of climate sensitivity. others have asked questions version durability of climate models and a scientist you raise any of these issues who would still be counted as the 97%. too often anybody who raises the question or disagrees with the left-wing's political position is called out as opposing views held by 97% of the published climate scientists as we are hearing today. this is clearly not true so again what does this number mean? the statistic comes from a 2013 scientific review of scientific literature published between
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1991 and 2011. this review found among extracts on anthropogenic global warming 97.1% endorse the senate's position that humans are causing global warming so basically if anyone who agrees that's a pretty broad definition. policymakers who disagreed with government left-wing climate policies might still actually agree that the 97% consensus. scientists who question important elements of climate science are included in the number. for example last year this committee received testimony from a climatologist to give you an idea of where he stands. dr. smith published a book entitled the great global warming blender how global warming bad science pandering politicians in bad science. given his outspoken position on
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climate challenge dr. spencer's comments on the 97% statistics are not with ap he testified in a quote the fact that it believably some of the recent warming is human caused claim to support the global warming consensus. the 97% study is innocuous and probably includes all of that global warming skeptics and noaa who are actively working in the field and quote. in short the 97% statistic is a misleading tactic used to marginalize people who are concerned about hard-working americans into all pain no gain energy of policies that for country and it won't change the global climate. i'm not a scientist but i'm enough, tristan i spent much of my life working with the
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scientific community. i was a zoology major and i said before there is nothing scientific about discrediting people who present conflicting evidence and ask reasonable questions. politicians are science referees cutting off debate when it suits one side and no one has a monopoly on the facts. the bottom line is this. we must ask whether these upon an assertion policies are worth lost jobs lower take-home pay higher gas and electricity prices higher food prices and so on. the person once said his climate policies would make the cost of electricity necessarily skyrocket and i believe it. let's remember the pain will last for decades and that falls hardest on low-income families while driving our industries hurting american workers and creating factories that in a far more than we would. i believe in american leadership that we are fooling ourselves if we believe that china russia
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indio vietnam etc. etc. are going to follow the presence lead-in shutdown of power plants. with that i think are witnesses for being here and look forward to your testimony. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator boozman and i will certain send -- turn to senator gillibrand. >> thank you on the need to act for climate change. and really should listen to continue to raise the urgency of this issue. madam chairman i'm deeply grateful for your leadership and your continued focus on how important this is for families in our country. climate change is real. it is here in humans have a role to play in it. that much is clear and while that might be easy for some to continue to deny the existence of climate change we simply don't have that luxury in new york. in my state we are seeing the effects of a changing climate every single day. two and half years ago superstorm sandy devastated our coastal newark as well as new
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jersey connecticut rhode island and its effects were long felt on the entire coast. that was just two years after two other devastating storms, hurricane irene and tropical storm league which cut a path of destruction across the northeast. these major storms in new york over a two-year. not. that is a huge issue that we have to face. the storm of the century is simply becoming the storm of the year and it's not just the storms themselves that are causing distraction. >> levels rise and are threatening greater storm surge effects meaning homes that were thought to be safe for centuries are now at great risk of flooding. those that deny climate change is real often talk about the potential costs of reducing carbon emissions but we must pay those costs -- way those costs against the costs of inaction.
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in action on climate change will cost the federal government and our taxpayers billions and billions and billions of dolla dollars. we have already seen superstorm sandy costs more than $60 billion. in action on climate change also cost homeowners in coastal communities through flood insurance premiums have gone up the sea levels rising causing greater flooding. famous flood maps released a year ago shows -- 100 year floodplain. that's 45%. all of new york city is now having to be contemplated. it also has real cost to my state and the people who lived there when the storm strike. rebuilding a home or a business is very expensive. suffering the loss of a child or family member because of a sto
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storm, you don't recover from it. these are real cost. these half insurmountable losses and effects of nafta realized that if the effect of the change in our climate. we have to address this issue head-on. if we addressed the issue head-on we will save lives. we will lower costs. we will protect homes and communities and we will protect businesses. we also know that for the economy when we look to reducing our carbon emissions we also gain greater innovation and business opportunity in clean energy. in fact the recent report by the environment of the northeast showed that states that do participate in regional greenhouse gas initiative have seen carbon pollution reduced by 18% and their economies have actually grown a 8.8%. the report also showed since the
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launch of rggi new york's electricity prices have gone down by 6%. so i am confident that we are some of greatest entrepreneurs and innovators in the world can solve this problem and do it in a way that can save all-americans costs. the real and clear issue with regard to climate change is that it's a threat that we have to take seriously as a nation. we can't wait for other countries who are even bigger polluters to take leadership. we can't wait for them to go first. we have to leave. it's who we are. we as americans are always in the forefront of real reform and change and great innovation. thank you senator senator whitehouse again to holding this hearing. it is so important for my state and our country. it's a great opportunity for us to show new creation of jobs and new innovation and i think we need to take it head-on. >> thank you senator gillibrand
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and i now turn to her distinguished ranking member senator sessions. >> thank you senator whitehouse. you have given a lot of time and effort to these issues. i am pleased to have our guests with us former epa administrators. we have indeed made a lot of progress in our country since the environmental protection agency was started by mr. ruckelshaus several years ago and we appreciate your leadership in that regard. it's great to have attorney general luther strange my able successor as attorney general of the state of alabama and in charge of environmental responsibilities for the state in dr. mason is great to have you and it's great to have you with us and it will be a great hearing today. we have had agreement on a number of issues that we have to celebrate. we have agreement at one point i
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thought that we would expand nuclear power. it's no co2 and other pollutants in the atmosphere that we are not making much progress they are. they have four plants in the last two years due to close in 2019 and only two are under construction. how do we get clean energy at a reasonable cost and with that on more nuclear-powered seems to me. so i would say we have had agreement on ethanol although i wonder now whether my votes are ideas were as positive as we got at the time on ethanol. people disagree on the wisdom of ethanol. we have had some good legislation and maybe some overreaching but some good legislation on efficiency. we can agree on how to make our automobiles and plants in buildings more energy-efficient. but we are concerned about her
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dramatic economic costs, the cost that would fall on the backs of many people sitting in our audience today a huge portion of our energy, coal and other production of energy that will be adversely impacted by the presence regulations. we have to ask some tough questions about that and i think we will. it's been mentioned that we have had some storms. i would note that hurricane sandy was not a hurricane. by the time it hit sure it was a tropical storm. we are not seeing injuries as with hurricanes. in fact it's been 3100 days since we have had a category 3 hurricane in america. that is a remarkable time in maybe one of the longest ever in the ipcc's assessment report released last year said quote
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current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century. we don't have more jobs and they don't have more floods according to the data he is valuing so i say it's right and just that members that represent the people of the united states and the workers of the united states and the people who pay electricity bills and pay their gas bills to go to work every day we represent them to back and we have to ask ourselves are we doing something to this economy that's not good for us and how can we make positive gains together without damaging our economy? i would note just for the record here and my colleagues need to know that our economy is struggling. we are not doing well. since 2009 median household
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income has fallen by 2000 $300. since 2009, 7.2 million people have left the workforce both in the first quarter of this year was negative 1% and one out of every six men 25 to 54 is not working today. these are statistics that ought to cause us concern. we have found that many of the regulations are ineffective. united states action which has been improving with co2 emissions and we are containing the growth of co2 more than most countries in the world will be insignificant in the total world impact. so i hope that this committee hearing will be positive and we can find some common ground and we can work together. co2 is not the kind of
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pollutants and ms. whitman and i was going to say gentlemen but that's not correct, that you thought the particulates the mercury. co2 is not the same kind of pollutant. it's just not a man to be careful that we don't hammer this economy attempting to achieve something we have little ability to achieve. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator sessions and for a final statement senator booker of new jersey. >> i appreciate this opportunity and i want to thank ranking member sessions and chairman whitehouse. want to particularly thank you are having the right kind of panel assembled here which are republican appointed presidentially appointed epa leaders including my former governor who i'm proud and happy to see today. i hope you got myself a message last night that i'm extraordinarily pleased because
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it says clearly that this is not a left-right issue. this is not an issue of politics. this is an issue of facts and to have republican presidentially appointed epa heads come out as they did in their joint editorial and say clearly we have a problem and what frustrates me to no end is that this is nothing new. when people tell the truth of environmental problems that we have the capacity to do something about and to hear the same story over and over again. i would like to chairman whitehouse put this into the record. it's a wonderful article going back and tracing through what everyone used to say about what would happen to the economy if we did certain things. i have a chart which i will put into the vector but it shows the upper side of our economy and in 1972 clean water act came out everybody said the economy would be destroyed and would cost us jobs. quite the contrary. our economy increased and it's helped to push our economy
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forward. the endangered species act came out everyone said the economy would be destroyed. quite the contrary. the american economy has continued to surge. 1987 launch of protocol to protect the ozone layer providing said the economy would be destroyed and jobs would be the cause cost. in fact quite the contrary if i can do when that when we do standup republicans and democrats can work together to address real environmental issues pointed out not just by scientists but also by the republican president we accomplish great things. the 1990 clean air act amendments done under the bush administration and happy that the horrible william reilly is here which addressed our acid rain issues had tremendous collateral benefits. it avoided more than 160,000 premature deaths. the life of humanity cannot be quantified numerically but the
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health and safety of our resident should be a number one mission. prevent a 130,000 heart attacks and millions of cases of respiratory problems acute bronchitis and asthma attacks were helped by this coalition under a republican person with a republican appointed epa head. prepended 13 million lost workdays improving worker productivity and kept kids healthy in school avoiding 3.2 million lost school days. this is what we can do when they open up and see the facts that again we are going to hear from republicans that we will talk about today and to me this is the concern. i do not understand what senator joel brand said. the truth is we are seeing climate change right now. i cannot speak to tornadoes. i don't see any of them in new jersey but i can't speak to the extreme heat problems we are having across the country which
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is real, which is measurable and unequivocal. but that is doing is causing us to have severe impacts on our nation and our nations economy. i see it with what's happening in atlantic city with the oceans rising which is not an opinion. it's a fact and measurable. we are likely to see on the new jersey shore of the ocean rise 1.5 feet by 205153.5 tbytes -- but i'm especially concerned about the health concerns. epa's relation of power plants will bring its immediate health benefits but it's estimated in its first year it for noble takes effect 100,000 asthma attacks and 2100 heart attacks can be prevented. to me that's real and it's unfortunate that marginalize folks often poor people are the ones that feel the impact of us doing doing nothing but mostly african-american children are twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma.
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i don't need the statistics. i see it in school systems across the state of new jersey and therefore times more likely to die of asthma. latinos are 30% more likely to be hospitalized by asthma. by doing the right thing it will not hurt the economy that we can help to improve the economy. if stacy is these regulations as an opportunity to make investments its estimates begin seeing $275 million invested in retrofitting buildings. this creates jobs and spurs the economy. it's the kind of jobs that can't be outsourced. $1 trillion in energy savings over 10 years. i'm excited about the opportunity this presents. i feel the urgency when it comes to the health safety and long-term economic well-being of our nation. we must act and we must act now. i end with a simple conclusion that the choice between action wise and endorsed by republican epa leaders goes to the very
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evidence that they understand the truth of the matter as well as united states. the only thing necessary for evil to be iced tramp in the sport good people do nothing. the senator booker think out the opportunity to hear from our wonderful panel. i will introduce the panel as a group right now and then we will go from witness to witness. the honorable william ruckelshaus within our grilled epa to minister to president nixon and was later brought put back as the administrator under president reagan. he banned the use of the pesticide ddt. the honorable lee thomas served under president reagan was instrumental in the negotiation and ratification of the montréal protocol to phase out substances that deplete the ozone layer. governor christine todd whitman served two terms as governor of new jersey before serving as epa mr. turn to george w. bush.
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she oversaw standards that reduce diesel air pollution. the honorable william william reilly. must render under president george h.w. bush were to amend the clean air act to control acid rain. dr. daniel bodkin is professor emeritus at the university of california santa barbara. i welcome my colleague here attorney general and dr. joseph mason is the hermon moose junior louisiana bankers association professor banking at louisiana state university and senior fellow at the school so i welcome the panel and it will begin with the honorable dr. ruckelshaus. >> thank you senator whitehouse and senator sessions and members of the subcommittee for convening this hearing on a matter of enormous importance for our future. i'm pleased to be here and
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reassure at least some of you that i'm still alive. several months ago after talking with one another the former epa administrator sitting in front of you were convinced by the overwhelming verdict of scientists that the earth is warming and that we humans are the only controllable contributor to this phenomenon. given those facts we signed op-ed piece that america gets serious about reducing the world's climate rather than sitting back and avoiding the consequences. newer parts of the last several months have made a neat more urgent. hard to believe there is any question to that. the ivc international panel on climate change report validates in the strongest terms the science of climate change and the projected impacts. the national climate assessment documents impacts occurring here in this country right now and report from the cna corporation
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which is made up of retired military officers highlights the national security and military readiness concerns due to climate change. we have as epa demonstrators served four presidents over four decades. we have successfully wrestled with it for a few public health and of our mental problems. while contentious including severe automobile and industrial air pollution widespread water pollution and the unacceptable effects of pesticides would like ddt. we have made progress. with that automobile admissions for example by 95% and greatly improved air quality while the number of cars has doubled. the hole in the ozone layer and acid rain are under control. in herons at all of these problems are uncertain science and powerful economic interests resisting controls. the same is true of climate change. in all cases cited the solutions
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to problems did not result in predicted economic and social calamity. scientific uncertainty are at the resistance is not mean that nothing should be done unless we are willing to suffer the consequences of inaction. we believe there is legitimate scientific debate over the effects of climate change but no legitimate debate over the effect of the earth's warming poor man's contribution. the models of the world's leading scientists predict rising seas throughout flooded and more severe and frequent storms. those are the projections and conditions of these models. we are seeing impacts already traces the ocean absorbs 25 to 30% of the carbon from stationary sources we thought the ocean with our friend. it was keeping significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. but our friend is paying a penalty. the carbon from the burning of
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fossil fuels is causing the acidity of the ocean to rise and is already threatening shellfish coral reefs and other ocean species. the culprit is the same carbon that originated from fossil fuels contribute into planetary warming and i was the co-chairman of the committee in my home state of washington appointed by the governor to look at the impacts of ocean acidification on puget sound. it directly threatened the shellfish industry in puget sound that contributes $275 million a year to the state's economy. finding out that the nature of the problem wasn't taking steps to both adapt to it and to try to reduce the amount of carbon in puget sound has begun to have a beneficial effect. we also know that if america does not get serious about our responsibility to do with this problem nothing much will happen in the rest of the world.
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no action is a choice. it's a choice that means we leave to chance the future we want and opt out of the solution to a problem that we are a big prop -- part of. we like to speak of american exceptionalism and we want to be truly exceptional with should begin the difficult task of leading the world away from the unacceptable effects of our increasing appetite for fossil fuels before it's too late. this is an extremely complex problem and the solutions are not straightforward. we believe this is the scuse for complacency are not stepping up to our responsibility. >> thank you very much mr. ruckelshaus. governor whitman. could you turn your microphone on? i think you need to hit the button. ..

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